Book 1 | Chapter 13 | Vandiyathevan meets the Josiyar

img src: wikipedia — agraharam

After the chariot had vanished from sight, the astrologer took him inside his house.

“Thambi, who are you? Why have you come here?”

Vandhiyathevan laughed and said — “I hear that you are a great astrologer. Can’t you use your astrological skills to predict that also?”

This was the second time today that someone had replied to him this way. The astrologer quipped back — “If I knew everything about that also, then who will give me any payment?”

“Who were the two ladies who left just now?”

The astrologer smiled a smug smile and said — “Thambi, the ethics of our profession prevents me from answering you. I will not tell you anything about them. After you leave, I will not tell anyone about you either.”

Vandhiyathevan was impressed.

“My name is Vallavarayan Vandhiyathevan.”

“Aha. From the Vaanar clan. I think I may have your horoscope with me.”

Vandhiyathevan was quite surprised. “How is it that you have my horoscope? I have heard that you collect only royal horoscopes.”

“My dear young boy, it seems that you do not know your own family heritage so well. Your ancestors were great warriors.”

“Aha, so what Alwarkadiyaan Nambi said was indeed right. You are good.”

“Who is the Nambi you are talking about?”

“What? You do not know him? He talked as if he knew you so well.”

“Perhaps the name escapes me. Can you describe him to me?”

“He is short and stout. He has his hair bunched up in the front. He wears his dhoti in his lower waist. He is a Veera Vaishanavar. He will start a verbal duel with any one claiming the greatness of any other God.”

“From your words, it seems like you are talking about Thirumalai.”

“Oho, he has other names, is it?”

“He has many names. He has many outlooks.”

“Are only half of his words true?”

“Half-truth. Half fantasy.”

“So we cannot believe him. He is a phony?”

“Oh no. I never said that. He is a phony to the bad and a genuine person to the good.”

“Anyway, let us talk about me. My clan may have had some clout. But I am just a wandering warrior.”

The astrologer just smiled — “That is for now. You are going to become a very big person very soon. Your bravado and your deeds will lead you to heights that you have never imagined.”

Vandhiyathevan was quite happy on hearing all of this.

He smiled a childish grin and asked — “Let me ask you about a dream I have had since I was a child. Will I ever have a sea journey?”

“Of course, you will, my son.”

Vandhiyathevan tried asking the astrologer about the Chozha Emperor and the succession challenges. The astrologer cleverly diverted all his questions, citing that, he cannot predict state matters.

“Human beings have horoscopes. I take these horoscopes and align it to the stars and predict the future. State and the government do not have horoscopes, do they?”

“They say that the current Chozha kingdom is being ruled by ladies. Is that true?”

“Thambi, are you talking about the young queen of Pazhuvettarayar?”

“No, to the north of the Kollidam, they are saying that the kingdom is being ruled by Princess Kundavai.”

“That is not true at all. The Emperor is in Thanjavur, while the Princess stays in Pazhayarai. Also, what powers does the Emperor have? All the powers are now rested with the Pazhuvettarayars.”

At this time, the astrologer looked Vandhiyathevan suspiciously.

“Josiyare, please do not mistake me to a spy of the Pazhuvettarayar. I will never ever do that my Chozha kingdom.”

Vandhiyathevan realized the futility in getting any more information. He finally asked about his hero. Not just his hero, the hero of all of the Chozha Kingdom — Prince Arulmozhi.

“He is the guiding star of the entire Kingdom. He will rule well. He will expand the already large Chozha Kingdom. He will be loved by all.”

“The way you describe the prince is like a lover describing his lady love.”

The Josiyar replied — “If you ask anybody on this side of the Kaveri, you will get similar replies from anyone.”

Vandhiyathevan paid the astrologer five pieces of gold and took leave.